ref: dHr Aug 12-Sep 19 2011 CRINAN GALLERY 'Berlin to Barra': Ross Macdonald Ryan, Frances Macdonald - Open a 'pdf' of this press release - return to Galleries PR Index


12 August - 19 September 2011

‘Just been Robbed, Belladrum Music Festival - ‘Grab - Explosion of light, Hauptbahnhof, Bremen

Ross MacDonald Ryan at


The Art Gallery with Rooms

Always in transit afloat or on land - there have

been very few periods I have been at ease in one

place and the studio environment has become

alien and often dull. The difficult but rewarding

process of working onsite directly suits my

lifestyle, allowing me to paint outside which is

were I am most comfortable.

While in Scotland during the fair weather months,

time is spent aboard an old fishing boat “The

Sgarbh” cruising the rugged west coast. The

evening shipping forecast dictates my paintings

as strong winds and rain make painting hard work

since the oil does not always adhere to the canvas.

Over the last two winters I painted in Bremen and

now Berlin. There could be no stronger contrast

from these ultra urban locations to my water

based home. Primarily in Germany I spent six

months recording Bremen's vast industrial lands

during the night. Using large format and painting

only with a head torch the results have been

energetic, often due to the extreme cold. Even

wearing a north sea survival suit a two meter

canvas must be completed in 4 to 6 hours, as at

minus ten and below you can feel your hands and

toes no more. White oil colour too becomes like

clay below minus 15. Preparing for these works is

similar to a life at sea . . . Latterly in Berlin while

working towards a show I made 70 black ink line

drawings of my neighborhood. A mugging, daily

harassment from dealers and even an arrest was

the price paid for painting in the liveliest of places.

The picture in the end is only a part of the journey,

a moment in time.